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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    I wouldn't. For it to be more damning, you'd need people living in poorer areas to be more likely to apply to Oxbridge than people in wealthy areas. I would be astonished to find that was actually the case.
    I would more people are applying for wealthier areas, and then those people have a higher chance of getting in.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Exactly. The outcome isn't certain, just more likely.
    Has anyone, other than you, spoken of certainty? Or have people spoken of averages, and tendencies, and correlation? You really should avoid saying people have said things they have not said.
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    All 3 are well established correlations.



    You are questioning the heritability of IQ, one of the best established facts in all psychology? And you think I don't understand how genetics works?! IQ is a polygenic trait under the influence of hundreds or thousands of genes. That's why it forms a normal distribution unlike eye colour which is influenced by a few genes.

    Something like half of the influence is due to these genes. The other half is due to environment (little though is due to the "shared environment" e.g. how your parents raise you, the school you go to, where you live etc.). See here for a modern classic reading: https://academic.oup.com/ije/article...y-so-different
    No - I have not questioned that. I have just made it clear it not certain like many genetics, and that (like you have suggested above) a lot of it is down to environmental factors as well. I also question how intelligence is measured and the biases of those measuremens that are in place.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Has anyone, other than you, spoken of certainty? Or have people spoken of averages, and tendencies, and correlation? You really should avoid saying people have said things they have not said.
    Maybe the lack of definition in some posts has led to me trying to clarify that point.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    I would more people are applying for wealthier areas, and then those people have a higher chance of getting in.
    That is almost certainly true, but it only backs up my argument.

    The "entrants per 1000 18 year olds" statistic shows the effect of both of these factors, whereas "entrants per 1000 applicants" would only show the effect of the second factor.

    I would therefore expect the "entrants per 1000 applicants" to be less damning (although of course what someone finds damning is somewhat subjective).
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    There is some evidence to suggest there is on the first two points. There's also evidence to suggest it isn't. Most evidence suggests its more the nuture than the nature though that creates that correlation.

    It can be inherited, but it doesn't mean it is. The same way I can have blue eyes when both my parents have brown.
    Your analogy is deeply flawed, mainly because eye colour is discrete, it is either blue or brown, shefe as inteligence is continuous. Secondly there is nothing you can do to change eye colour after the formation of the zygote, something that clearly doesnt apply to intelligence.



    On the topic at hand, I think that Oxbridge probably need to do more to increase diversity, however they can only deal with the pool of talent that is given to them and it is the duty of government, colleges, schools and the wider population to address the huge list of innequalities that may affect a childs ability to get into Oxbridge, or for that matter, other top quality universities.
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    That is almost certainly true, but it only backs up my argument.

    The "entrants per 1000 18 year olds" statistic shows the effect of both of these factors, whereas "entrants per 1000 applicants" would only show the effect of the second factor.

    I would therefore expect the "entrants per 1000 applicants" to be less damning (although of course what someone finds damning is somewhat subjective).
    Apologies, I misunderstood and see your point. I think my definition of damning was that that system is flawed from start to finish.

    The stats are also only offers, it would be interesting to see if there what the outcomes are for those who accept and then start, and also finish their studies. The finishing their studies is likely to have a very "damning" effect on those numbers/graphs.
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    (Original post by mojojojo101)
    Your analogy is deeply flawed, mainly because eye colour is discrete, it is either blue or brown, shefe as inteligence is continuous. Secondly there is nothing you can do to change eye colour after the formation of the zygote, something that clearly doesnt apply to intelligence.
    .
    I am known for my **** analogies.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Maybe the lack of definition in some posts has led to me trying to clarify that point.
    You need us to define words like average, tend, and correlate? That is a shame. There was no need for clarification as everyone but you knew what was meant through the ordinary use of ordinary words.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Apologies, I misunderstood and see your point. I think my definition of damning was that that system is flawed from start to finish.
    Yeah, but humans are flawed from start to finish too. I think 99% of the damage has already been done before Oxbridge has any say in the matter.

    The stats are also only offers, it would be interesting to see if there what the outcomes are for those who accept and then start, and also finish their studies. The finishing their studies is likely to have a very "damning" effect on those numbers/graphs.
    In terms of acceptance, I think in general it's very rare for people to miss their offers (Maths @ Cambridge being an exception due to STEP being part of the offer). And Oxbridge has a *really* low drop-out rate (although there are some concerns about these figures being 'massaged', so I doubt you'd see anything particularly scary in those graphs.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    You need us to define words like average, tend, and correlate? That is a shame. There was no need for clarification as everyone but you knew what was meant through the ordinary use of ordinary words.
    In the initial posts none of those terms were used.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    In the initial posts none of those terms were used.
    My first post in this thread used one of them, and I went on to use all of them, as did others. The only person to have stated or implied any kind of certainty is you.
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    Yeah, but humans are flawed from start to finish too. I think 99% of the damage has already been done before Oxbridge has any say in the matter.

    In terms of acceptance, I think in general it's very rare for people to miss their offers (Maths @ Cambridge being an exception due to STEP being part of the offer). And Oxbridge has a *really* low drop-out rate (although there are some concerns about these figures being 'massaged', so I doubt you'd see anything particularly scary in those graphs.
    Indeed - as I said earlier, the issue is not with Oxbridge alone, although I think they do need to do more. I very much doubt the stats would be any better though, whether its accepting places, starting courses or completion of studies. The barriers to access will make it worse not better.

    Has Oxbridge toned down its message on not allowing students to work part-time whilse studying now? I know that used to be a major concern from a social mobility perspective.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    My first post in this thread used one of them, and I went on to use all of them, as did others. The only person to have stated or implied any kind of certainty is you.
    My initial response on the genetics point wasn't to you. But I get your point and thanks for the clarity at your end.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    There are a lot of factors at work here.

    First of all Britain is a more middle class society.

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/dat...lass-2000-data

    The people who in a previous generation were likely to be the working class kids at Oxbridge are no longer in the working classes.

    Education now requires much more parental input. The old grammar school system required more or less nothing of parents other than that they bought the uniform. The school arranged the 11 plus. The top 20-25% of kids got in. No tutoring was required. Teachers were powerful authority figures that could be deployed if parents tried to actively frustrated their children's education. I accept that there were structural elements that favoured the middle classes in the grammar system. However, today, a parent who is apathetic about their child's education damns them probably from the age of 4.

    It was said that when Oxford went mixed in the late 70s and early 80s it replaced working class boys with middle class girls and there is some truth in that. The same effect happened when significant numbers of foreign undergraduates started arriving from the 1990s onwards. Attracting a brilliant wealthy Chinese student doesn't reduce the number of Etonians.

    Social mobility is falling across the UK.

    Southern white suburban teenagers probably lead more managed lives than children in the north and that is good for getting the top school grades. I suspect many more northern teenagers still have Saturday jobs and have mobility through public transport.

    There has been a flow of the best talent south in the last 30 years.
    I don't have much to add, apart from answering to the OP by pointing that Oxford is not becoming less accessible, as evidenced by the increasing percentage of undergraduates from state schools.
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    Not a huge surprise. I do feel for working class kids wanting to go to Oxbridge but struggle to because of circumstances out of their own control. At the same time Oxbridge can't be blamed for keeping their own standards high.
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    That being said though, the school you go to plays a big role. The fact that there's a few schools that feed into oxbridge says a lot. These schools have got lots of resources which prepare students for the interview and Oxbridge exclusive tests. There are plenty of state school kids with top grades who don't make it because they didnt receive the necessary prep for interviews and extra tests whereas private and grammar school kids have a network which allows them to have an unfair advantage in the process as they know the style that comes up.

    Oxbridge can easily get past this by giving more resources out to help students and make it a level playing field.
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    the BBC do not help. any programmes featuring young people never show them working sensibly & trying to pass their exams. they are all about "ooh look at me and my problems" or "look at me i have just been abducted".
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    (Original post by the bear)
    the BBC do not help. any programmes featuring young people never show them working sensibly & trying to pass their exams. they are all about "ooh look at me and my problems" or "look at me i have just been abducted".
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    (Original post by itsfantanoo)
    That being said though, the school you go to plays a big role. The fact that there's a few schools that feed into oxbridge says a lot. These schools have got lots of resources which prepare students for the interview and Oxbridge exclusive tests. There are plenty of state school kids with top grades who don't make it because they didnt receive the necessary prep for interviews and extra tests whereas private and grammar school kids have a network which allows them to have an unfair advantage in the process as they know the style that comes up.
    Another factor often ignored is your peer group. I went to a fairly decent London comprehensive that would generally get 1-2 people into Oxbridge a year. It had been about 10 years since we'd had anyone get into Cambridge for maths though. And then in my class, we had four people who applied, and we all got in. And I'm sure a big part of that is that there were 4 of us, who could help each other and push each other on.

    Oxbridge can easily get past this by giving more resources out to help students and make it a level playing field.
    I really don't think it's that easy. For most subjects, the interview is a huge factor; it's really hard for a typical school to come close to simulating that environment. I guess it wouldn't be impossible for colleges to give mock interviews in, say, the summer term preceeding applications, but it would be a pretty huge bump in the academic workload, not to mention logistics issues etc.

    As far as available resources - it's really noticeable how much more information/support is available for STEP/MAT compared with when I was doing A-levels, where typically you'd have 3-4 past papers (often donated from people who'd actually sat that exam, so you'd only have papers for years people actually took the exam) and virtually nothing in the way of worked solutions. I've been helping people here with STEP for 10 years, and I feel the extra support has clearly made a difference in the preparedness of candidates for STEP over the last 10 years.

    What's particularly interesting in terms of "level playing fields" is the realization that the top private schools always did have close to that level of resources (through a long history of people taking the exams, plus teachers able to teach (and solve) at that level). Looking back, the discrepancy feels horrendously unfair - I feel we had so little support in comparison. I'd be interested to know if admissions tutors have noticed a shift in preparedness.

    [But this of course, would argue that the system (for maths) has become less biased towards the top schools over the years. Again, I'd be interested to know if this is actually the case at all].
 
 
 
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